Higher ed: going out, coming in.

An interesting op/ed piece in the NY Times calling for the dismantling of higher education as we know it.  I don’t disagree with all of the points made here, but it seems to me that the really big sticking point is the tenure piece.  Until tenure is reformed, universities seem powerless to effect this kind of serious, sweeping change.  It’s one thing to say we need more interdisciplinary work, more relevance, and less retreat into hyperspecialization.  I think we can all agree on that (or maybe not…)  The hard thing is making the change actually happen.  Right now, T&P keeps us locked into bad publishing strategies, bad hiring and retention policies, and inefficient use of our resources.  Higher ed does need an overhaul.  But someone’s going to need a really big block and tackle to get the engine out of the body…

And that said, I had a very nice Saturday evening with the Oregon Special Library Association, at their student reception.  I sat on a panel with Reece Dano of Ziba Design, Michael Braun Hamilton of Mercy Corps, Jeff Allen of Laika, Cindy Romaine of Romaniacs, and Meryl Cole, formerly of WSU Vancouver, and co-author of Instant Messaging Reference, a Practical Guide.  I had a great time talking with all these folks, as well as students and graduates from Emporia, Illinois, UW, FSU, and other places.

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